Percussion Students Place in State Championship

Published: April 03, 2017 | Author: Ashley Pollock | Read Time: 2 minutes

Percussion student Marissa BrownSouthern Utah University’s Percussion students recently participated in the Utah Day of Percussion. Each year, students from the Department of Music join in this conference in the various competitive events.

Jordan Nielsen, a junior percussion performance major from Price, Utah, said, “Preparing for this competition meant a lot of personal practice and instruction from Dr. Vartan. There are a large variety of new and different musical pieces.”

Students worked hard to become a percussion program of high caliber and compete against schools of all sizes and skill levels. SUU’s Jordan Nielsen won the State Championship title in the instrument of Timpani in the College category. Marissa Brown placed third in Timpani in the state and Tylor Williams placed third in Marimba in the state. 

Dr. Lynn Vartan, Director of Percussion at SUU, said, “Our percussion program continues to be a huge and powerful presence against very strong programs like the University of Utah and BYU, among others!”

Marissa Brown, a senior music major from Farmington, Utah, said, “I picked a very hard piece a few years ago that I wanted to learn in the future. I couldn't handle it until this semester and it is my last semester of school. I started working on this piece in January to get ready for the competition and had to get very creative since my piece calls for some interesting noises such as rolling with a superball mallet, and dropping a cymbal on the ground. Preparing for the competition was a little tricky to practice for since I couldn't take the big drums home to practice during spring break. But I contacted a local high school in my area back home and they worked with me on getting some practice times and allowing me to come use instruments in their school.”

Brown went on to say, “For those interested in percussion I would invite you to join the SUU Percussion Ensemble. You can be involved no matter your level of experience or your major. It even counts as a half credit class. If you stick to it like I did, you can eventually play the pieces you always dreamed of playing.”

For more information about the percussion program at SUU, please visit SUU Percussion

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